In pursuit of equity: partnering to improve breast and prostate cancer outcomes among African Americans.

Research paper by K R KR Enard, S E SE Nicks, B A BA Campbell, S M SM McClure

Indexed on: 21 Mar '21Published on: 21 Mar '21Published in: Cancer Causes & Control


Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative partnership approach that leverages the strengths of academic-community groups to address local problems. CBPR emphasizes equity (e.g., co-learning, power-sharing, participatory decision-making) among groups to achieve goals and promote sustainability. This study examines group dynamics, and their influence on achieving shared goals, within a CBPR-guided partnership established to improve breast and prostate cancer outcomes among underserved African American communities in St. Louis, Missouri. We conducted in-person, semi-structured interviews with key academic and community informants and surveyed via email community collaborators involved in outreach activities. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and independently coded by two authors using an iterative, open-coding process to identify major themes. Surveys were summarized using similar coding criteria for open-ended responses and descriptive statistics for discrete responses. Using a grounded theory approach, we summarized and compared themes from each data source to identify similarities and differences and triangulated results to generate overarching thematic findings. Participants described benefits from the partnership (funding; clinical, public health and evaluation expertise; training and networking opportunities) and found beneficial ways to leverage the partners' strengths in collaborating Participants expressed long-term commitment to sustaining the partnership and building capacity to address cancer disparities, but faced challenges related to power-sharing and participatory decision-making. Using CBPR to address cancer disparities is an effective approach to capacity-building and achieving shared goals. By evaluating the structures and processes within CBPR collaborations through the lens of equity, partners may identify and address challenges that threaten long-term partnership sustainability.

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